Monday, October 31, 2011

Never Take A Shark To The Dentist - By Judi Barrett

This funny book is just the kind of story that 4- and 5-year olds LOVE!  Each page gets the reader to think about the different characteristics of the animal featured, while being accompanied by a pretty hilarious illustration. The silly dialogue is great for asking children "Why?", before turning to the next page: "Why would you not want to take a shark to the dentist?", and "Why should you never hold hands with a lobster?"

Babies - By Ros Asquith

A simple book ABOUT babies FOR babies! It shows that, though children are different from each other, there are some things that all of them have in common. This story would be perfect for reading to an infant, or for reading with a toddler sibling about their new baby brother or sister.  The cartoon illustrations are simple for a younger audience.

Friday, October 28, 2011

The Flower Faerie - By Frank Asch & Vladimir Vagin

If your child loves fantasy and fairy tales, this book is definitely one to add to your collection.  Asch and Vagin tell the story of an emperor's son who one day finds a beautiful fairy in the forest.  The little boy knows he mustn't touch it, but his father is a greedy man who captures the fairy and decides to keep her in a glass case. When all of the flowers and crops in the kingdom suddenly begin to die, the emperor realizes that he has made a terrible mistake.  This tale teaches children that beautiful things are best left where they belong.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Round Is A Pancake - By Joan Sullivan Baranski

What a perfect book for a lesson on shapes!  Enter a land of kings, and queens, and court jesters, and discover a world of round objects.  You absolutely cannot beat these brightly colored illustrations! They're fantastic!

How Many Kisses Do You Want Tonight? - By Varsha Bajaj

Animal babies and boys and girls alike ALL need kisses at bedtime!  This sweet story rhymes and teaches number sequence.  Warm illustrations show nothing but love, security and affection.  If you enjoy reading to your little one before tucking them in and kissing them goodnight, you will definitely love this book!

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Make Way For Ducklings - By Robert McCloskey

Mr. and Mrs. Mallard fly all over Boston, searching for just the right place to build their nest and raise their little ones.  An island near the Public Garden proves to be that special place, but sometimes the duck family needs the help of some kindly police officers in order to safely waddle through traffic! SMILE!  The book may seem a bit long, but there's something about its charm that holds the attention of even very young listeners.  A delightful story filled with those timeless sketches McCloskey is famous for. 

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Rosie's Fishing Trip - By Amy Hest

A warm story that celebrates the beauty of spending time with Grampa. This sort of tender children's book is definitely a rare find!  Rosie and her Grampa wake up early, share muffins and chocolate milk, go fishing, write a poem together, and return home to tell Mama all about it.  A wonderful tool for showing today's children that there is much more to life than playing video games and watching television!  The soft illustrations are priceless.

Monday, October 10, 2011

My Grandma Is Coming To Town - By Anna Grossnickle Hines

When Grandma first arrives, it just doesn't seem possible that she's that same loving voice from over the telephone - but she is!  This is a delightful story for any child whose grandparent lives far away.  It can also help parents to realize that a child who may, at first, act shy around a relative, will probably be ready to give hugs and kisses in no time! The cartoon illustrations are perfect for a younger audience.

Babies In The Bayou - By Jim Arnosky

A perfect introduction to animal science on a preschool level!  Through this story and its rich illustrations, the reader learns about the ecosystem within a bayou and sees examples of God's creation interacting with one another.  The large, colorful pictures are perfect for sharing with a whole classroom of children.

Fanny & Annabelle - By Holly Hobbie

This is a great book for introducing children to the art of creative writing! It teaches that ideas for stories can come from anywhere, but especially from real-life experiences.  Fanny not only manages to write a cute story about her doll Annabelle, but she also learns a valuable lesson in honesty.  The phrases "holy cow" and "heavens to Betsey" are used, but the book has a very wholesome story line.  The fun illustrations alternate between drawings of the main characters and sketches from the story Fanny is writing.

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Hush, Little Baby - By Brian Pinkney

Papa tries his best to please Baby while Mama is away.  If one thing doesn't work, he'll bring her something else.  He and Mama love their little girl so much, they don't want to see her cry.  This is the familiar children's song with some unfamiliar verses.  The colorful African-American artwork is delightful.

When Uncle Took The Fiddle - By Libba Moore Gray

Everyone in the house is just too TIRED . . . That is, until Uncle starts to play his fiddle! Toes tap, hands clap, and soon even the neighbors are playing instruments and joining in some country dancing. Pastel pictures and lots of sound words bring the reader right into the middle of it all! This would be a fun book to share during music class.

A Balloon For Grandad - By Nigel Gray

When his balloon accidentally blows away, a little boy is comforted by the idea that perhaps it is traveling to visit his grandfather in Northern Africa! This book is wonderful for adding colorful adjectives to a child's vocabulary.  The African folk art is very fitting to the story line.

Friday, October 7, 2011

When Jessie Came Across The Sea - By Amy Hest

The heart-warming story of how coming to America changed one little Jewish girl's life forever.  My sisters and I loved reading this gem over and over again, even as adults!  A little longer than some children's books, it is a good story for increasing a youngster's attention span and introducing them to more mature themes.

Where's Our Mama? - By Diane Goode

She cooks good food, she reads lots of books, she's strong and smart . . . She may not be famous, but to these two little lost girls, their mama is someone extra special!  This is the sweet story of sisters who try to find their mama with the help of a French gendarme, and, in the process, they share what sets their mama apart from every other woman in Paris.  The soft, yet fun, illustrations definitely make the story even more enjoyable.

Castles, Caves, and Honeycombs - By Linda Ashman

Such a lovely book for introducing children to various animal homes! The rhythmic words and rich illustrations make this story a lovely one for naptime, bedtime, or anytime! In the end, you see that homes are really very special places.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

The Smallest Snowflake - By Bernadette Watts

What a beautiful book to read aloud in the wintertime, cuddled up with your little one! This is the tale of the Smallest Snowflake as she blows around the world, trying to find the perfect place to rest until spring.  Rich descriptions make this a wonderful story for building vocabulary.  The soft illustrations of winter landscapes are absolutely delightful.

There's An Alligator Under My Bed - By Mercer Mayer

A perfectly cute story for helping children to cope with bedtime fears. This was definitely a classroom favorite with my preschoolers! The large, colorful illustrations are great for sharing with a large group of children.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Take Care, Good Knight - By Shelley Moore Thomas

A humorous story about a wizard who leaves three little dragons with the responsibility of watching his cats while he is away.  The narrative shows what can happen when someone can only "read" pictures and not the actual words! This book is also good for teaching young children that sometimes two words can sound exactly the same, but have different spellings and different meanings.  One line of the story that I did not care for, says that the cats "cussed and fussed and hissed".  The cartoon illustrations are very adorable and fun.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Hooray For Harry - By Kim Lewis

The tale of three stuffed animals who try their best to remember where they last left Harry The Elephant's special blanket.  They play together as friends and work together too.  This is a good story for teaching order - first, next, then, etc. The soft illustrations are truly gorgeous!

If Kisses Were Colors - By Janet Lawler

A sweet story of a mother's love for her little one.  Very few words and beautiful illustrations make this a perfect bedtime story for younger children. The paintings look like pretty cracked egg shells!

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Thunder Cake - By Patricia Polacco

This is the loving tale of a grandmother who tries to help her young granddaughter let go of a fear of thunderstorms.  As in most Patricia Polacco books, the reader is introduced to a few Russian words sprinkled within the text.  The illustrations are colorfully painted in, except for the faces of people, which always remain looking like sketches.  This is such a sweet book to read to any child who might be slightly frightened by thunder and lightening.

Rechenka's Eggs - By Patricia Polacco

This is the beautiful story of Babushka, an elderly lady living near the town of Moskva, who one day finds a goose that has been shot by hunters.  Babushka takes care of the goose until it is better, and Rechenka repays her with something wonderful.  Some Russian words are included, increasing the reader's foreign vocabulary.  Everything in the illustrations is bright and colorful except for the faces of the people, which always remain pencil sketched and not filled in.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Laura Charlotte - By Kathryn O. Galbraith

Laura lies awake in bed one night, wanting her mother to tell her the story of her flannel elephant named Charlotte.  Charlotte is a precious heirloom made by her great-grandmother, mended by her grandmother, loved by her mother, and passed down to Laura.  The soft paintings in this book are so lifelike and beautiful!  My sister Jessica loved this one so much when she was little, that she had the entire book memorized by the time she was two years old.  It was definitely a family favorite!

Robert The Rose Horse - By Joan Heilbroner

During his birthday celebration on the farm, Robert the horse makes the unhappy discovery that he is allergic to roses! Animals and people go flying whenever Robert sneezes, making for some very fun illustrations that children love.  The colored pencil drawings in this book are almost like sketches. Short, easy words make this a good beginning reader, or a simple one to listen to.

Madeline's Rescue - By Ludwig Bemelmans

Written in the form of a poem, this story tells of Genevieve, a dog that saves Madeline from drowning.  The little girls in Madeline's school fight at night about which one gets to sleep with Genevieve, but soon there are enough puppies to go around.  One part I did not like was when Madeline speaks almost disrespectfully to one of the trustees, after they have been told they cannot keep a dog in the school.  The pictures alternate between yellow and white and full color.